PHOTOS of my 5 old SLAZENGER DEMON's with the strange FISHTAIL grip

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
Photos of my 5 old Slazenger Demon rackets with the strange fishtail grips. These were made like this in the UK, for about 50 years, between about 1880 and 1930, they changed in design over that time period as can be seen below. Mine were made in approx. 1890, 1895, 1900, 1910 and 1920.





 
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jimbo333

Hall of Fame
Slazenger stopped making the Slazenger Demon racket with the fishtail grip in about 1930, but continued to make Slazenger tennis rackets called the Demon for at least another 50 years. Also Slazenger had a ball named the Demon, again many different versions were made over the years. The one below is from 1935, and the packaging design used inside the box is downright scary in my opinion!

Interestingly at about the same time the popular fishtail Slazenger Demon racket finally went out of production, Dunlop started to produce the Dunlop Maxply, which quickly went on to be the most popular racket of its time, and be made again for about 50 years (1932-1983 approx). So 2 British design classics dominating the racket market in terms of popularity and sales in the UK for about 100 years amazingly.





 
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joe sch

Legend
Nice collection Jimbo !
I also admire the demon fishtails and have several nice old models from the 1890s to the 1920s, the latest featuring a decal fishtail demon rather than engraved. I also have the last model that is painted wood. Will try to post pictures later ...
Nice to see you got those boxed balls, I remember when a set was offered on the bay.
 
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jimbo333

Hall of Fame
Nice collection Jimbo !
I also admire the demon fishtails and have several nice old models from the 1890s to the 1920s, the latest featuring a decal fishtail demon rather than engraved. I also have the last model that is painted wood. Will try to post pictures later ...
Nice to see you got those boxed balls, I remember when a set was offered on the bay.
Cheers, and yes the versions with the decals and the painted versions are the last Demon's with the fishtails from the late 1920's up to around 1930. I would love to see some photos of yours please!
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
Nice stuff Jimbo, the very early ones are quite rare.
Cheers, yes the 1890's versions were hard enough for me to find, but the 1880's Demon's are actually very rare indeed and extremely valuable, too expensive for me and most people really. Those earliest ones are mainly in the hands of proper antique collectors.
 

joe sch

Legend

Rob2D

New User
Wow those are awesome guys! :)

I've wanted one of these for a while now. How did you guys come across them? I mainly just keep an eye on e-bay in case one pops up.
 

joe sch

Legend
Wow those are awesome guys! :)

I've wanted one of these for a while now. How did you guys come across them? I mainly just keep an eye on e-bay in case one pops up.
They do make it to the bay as I see several each year. Since you are in the UK, I would think you could actually find one in some of the local antique shops or estate sales.
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
Wow those are awesome guys! :)

I've wanted one of these for a while now. How did you guys come across them? I mainly just keep an eye on e-bay in case one pops up.
Cheers, these can be found, but often the price is very high. There are lots of fishtail rackets around in the UK, but finding Slazenger Demon fishtails, especially the early ones is a bit more difficult.

It took me 5 years to get these. Apart from the first one which I spent too much on, the others I've bought at a good price, mainly from non-online auctions. These are often priced at an expensive price in shops, so it is worth shopping around and being patient, dare I say.
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
My last few photos of the Slazenger Demon balls from 1935, and what were they thinking putting that scary picture on the inside of the box!





 
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Rob2D

New User
Dude that picture is soooo f***ing metal! Haha.

Slazenger should release a new line of demon stuff. I know if they came out with some tennis balls with that picture on them, I'd buy 'em for sure!
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
Dude that picture is soooo f***ing metal! Haha.

Slazenger should release a new line of demon stuff. I know if they came out with some tennis balls with that picture on them, I'd buy 'em for sure!
When i was in Australia 3 years ago, I went to see ACDC play, and almost everyone had on these little red horns that lit up, was quite a sight, there were 1000's of them. ACDC were great, very loud!
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame


One last thing about this ball. I've realised it is almost 80 years old:shock:

These very old balls are very difficult to find in this condition. Even if you are lucky enough to find an unused example, the balls often deflate and lose their shape. So to find one like this is great, probably why I like the photo above so much.

A couple of the balls in box have been nibbled/eaten by moths. It seems to be a big problem in the UK, I don't know about other countries? Moths really like to eat the covering of tennis balls annoyingly. Can anyone please recommend a good effective way to keep my tennis balls protected from moths?
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
:!: One thing I think some of our American and non-British English-speaking friends might not realise, culturally, is that in English colloquialism, historically, the word "demon" connotates a sort of (sold-your-soul-to-the-Devil-) brilliance at something, i.e., "He's a demon tennis player!" or "There was a demon spin on that serve." Sort of the archaic Britslang equivalent of the more recent negative-positive slang word, "sick."
 

coachrick

Hall of Fame
:!: One thing I think some of our American and non-British English-speaking friends might not realise, culturally, is that in English colloquialism, historically, the word "demon" connotates a sort of (sold-your-soul-to-the-Devil-) brilliance at something, i.e., "He's a demon tennis player!" or "There was a demon spin on that serve." Sort of the archaic Britslang equivalent of the more recent negative-positive slang word, "sick."
Very interesting...the folks in Boston took similar liberties with "wicked", as in " a wicked good forehand".
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Very interesting...the folks in Boston took similar liberties with "wicked", as in " a wicked good forehand".
Precisely! Well noticed. :) And I suspect Michael Jackson was suggesting that he actually was "good," not literally "Bad." (you know it, oooh!) :lol:
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
:!: One thing I think some of our American and non-British English-speaking friends might not realise, culturally, is that in English colloquialism, historically, the word "demon" connotates a sort of (sold-your-soul-to-the-Devil-) brilliance at something, i.e., "He's a demon tennis player!" or "There was a demon spin on that serve." Sort of the archaic Britslang equivalent of the more recent negative-positive slang word, "sick."
Very interesting...the folks in Boston took similar liberties with "wicked", as in " a wicked good forehand".
Precisely! Well noticed. And I suspect Michael Jackson was suggesting that he actually was "good," not literally "Bad." (you know it, oooh!)

"That is one bad tennis racquet, really wicked, hits demon topspin, it's just sick":lol:


Have I got the hang of it? So that's what this thread has come to, a lesson in street slang on the tennis court for the over 40's:)

(Now how about some practical options in how to deal with those pesky moths eating my vintage tennis balls please lol)
 
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retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Well done, evil job on the slang mastery!!!

Moth repellent? I'd suggest using cedar wood chips or shavings. Smells nice, non-oily, non-chemical... should keep the female moths away so they don't lay eggs which grow into hungry larvae who have a taste for delicious old tennis balls...
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
Well done, evil job on the slang mastery!!!

Moth repellent? I'd suggest using cedar wood chips or shavings. Smells nice, non-oily, non-chemical... should keep the female moths away so they don't lay eggs which grow into hungry larvae who have a taste for delicious old tennis balls...
Cheers, and I'm going to try the cedar wood, any other options please?

So is it the actual moths that eat the wool (assuming that's what they like about the old tennis balls), or is it the larvae?
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Cheers, and I'm going to try the cedar wood, any other options please?

So is it the actual moths that eat the wool (assuming that's what they like about the old tennis balls), or is it the larvae?
I'm no entomologist, but I believe I read it is the larvae who eat the textiles (wool). Do a google on "moth repellent" and see what you learn, though I think it'd be wisest to stay away from oils or things which could moisten or discolour your balls (umm, that sounded odd, didn't it? :shock: :? :lol:).

Reportedly, dried orange peels also keep moths (who make larvae) away from things.
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
I'm no entomologist, but I believe I read it is the larvae who eat the textiles (wool). Do a google on "moth repellent" and see what you learn, though I think it'd be wisest to stay away from oils or things which could moisten or discolour your balls (umm, that sounded odd, didn't it? :shock: :? :lol:).

Reportedly, dried orange peels also keep moths (who make larvae) away from things.
Thanks again, having had a quick look now, it seems it's the larvae and the moths eating the wool. I would rather use a repellant as you say, as the only other option I had was to wrap my balls in sealed plastic to keep the moths/larvae away, but i thought that might also be bad for my balls:-|

Also if I stick cedar next to all my wool, what do the moths/larvae do then? Move on to cotton?
 

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
How exactly do you date your Demons, Jimbo?

I can see from your OP photo that the 1920s model had a concave wedge, and the 1900 model was a flat top. Other than that, I am not sure that I am necessarily looking at the correct features when trying to distinguish one model from another.

Would I be correct in identifying the racquet below as a 1910 model?




The wood on this well-worn example had dried out and become delaminated in several places alongside stress splits; which someone had attempted to repair eons ago by installing a couple of screws/pins in the affected areas. This particular Demon had earned its permanent retirement long ago, but I still love the way it looks.

By the way, regarding those pesky moths, the most effective way to deal with them without resorting to potentially harmful chemicals is to put the affected items in a freezer for a week, thaw them out for a few days, then freeze them again for another week. This should kill all the larvae and protect the items from further destruction, so long as the items are kept in an air-tight container afterwards. I do this to my woolens whenever I suspect the airspace of my man-cave has been breached by these evil creatures. I believe that if you freeze and thaw the tennis balls gradually (by transitioning them through the refrigerator?), there should be no harm done to the rubber parts, though you might want to test this out on one ball before committing the whole collection.
 

rodracquet

Rookie
Slazenger Demon 1940's

A later rendition of the Slazenger Demon, note the continuation of the demon graphic albeit smaller. Australian made circa 1940's

 

rodracquet

Rookie
Slazenger Demon 1940's

A later rendition of the Slazenger Demon, note the continuation of the demon graphic albeit smaller. Australian made circa 1940's

 

cluckcluck

Hall of Fame
Any chance you could take a picture of the Demon ball next to a current era ball?

Sweet collection I must say.
 

rodracquet

Rookie
Slazenger stopped making the Slazenger Demon racket with the fishtail grip in about 1930, but continued to make Slazenger tennis rackets called the Demon for at least another 50 years. Also Slazenger had a ball named the Demon, again many different versions were made over the years. The one below is from 1935, and the packaging design used inside the box is downright scary in my opinion!

Interestingly at about the same time the popular fishtail Slazenger Demon racket finally went out of production, Dunlop started to produce the Dunlop Maxply, which quickly went on to be the most popular racket of its time, and be made again for about 50 years (1932-1983 approx). So 2 British design classics dominating the racket market in terms of popularity and sales in the UK for about 100 years amazingly.





Maybe we could see the Slazenger Demon rise again to take on the Prince God Racquet!!
 

jimbo333

Hall of Fame
How exactly do you date your Demons, Jimbo?

I can see from your OP photo that the 1920s model had a concave wedge, and the 1900 model was a flat top. Other than that, I am not sure that I am necessarily looking at the correct features when trying to distinguish one model from another.

Would I be correct in identifying the racquet below as a 1910 model?




The wood on this well-worn example had dried out and become delaminated in several places alongside stress splits; which someone had attempted to repair eons ago by installing a couple of screws/pins in the affected areas. This particular Demon had earned its permanent retirement long ago, but I still love the way it looks.

By the way, regarding those pesky moths, the most effective way to deal with them without resorting to potentially harmful chemicals is to put the affected items in a freezer for a week, thaw them out for a few days, then freeze them again for another week. This should kill all the larvae and protect the items from further destruction, so long as the items are kept in an air-tight container afterwards. I do this to my woolens whenever I suspect the airspace of my man-cave has been breached by these evil creatures. I believe that if you freeze and thaw the tennis balls gradually (by transitioning them through the refrigerator?), there should be no harm done to the rubber parts, though you might want to test this out on one ball before committing the whole collection.
Dating the Demons accurately is difficult. For the older ones I'm looking for wider thickness of the wood beam of the racket head itself, longer narrower grips, and never having had any of that white binding above the throat amongst others things. The older ones are convex throat as you say, and older ones don't have the "REGD" under the Demon symbol (It would be interesting to know what year they added the "REGD"). It is easier when you've got a few to compare to be honest. That flat-top looking one is mainly like that due to stringing pulling it slightly out of shape, this happens quite a lot by the way.

I agree yours in the photo is about 1910. It is the about the same year as one of mine, only yours is a standard Demon, and mine is a Special Demon (in fact all 3 on the right of my original photo are actually "Special Demons"). The Special Demons have a slightly different fishtail, and are made to a higher quality apparently according to the adverts of the time!

Thanks for the advice on the moths, will try that out!
 
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